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Video:How Much Sleep is Enough for Children?

with Kathy Moore

Young children seem to grow in their sleep, but how do you know if your child is getting enough rest? Learn how much sleep children need at different ages.See Transcript

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Transcript:How Much Sleep is Enough for Children?

Hi, I am Kathy Moore for About.com Parenting. Young children seem to grow in their sleep but how do you know if your child is getting enough rest? This program will discuss how much sleep children need at different ages.

The Importance of Sleep

Most parents know that lack of sleep is the number one contributor to crabbiness and other behavior problems. But not getting enough sleep can also lead to accidents and injuries as well as lack of concentration and cooperativeness. Some children with inadequate sleep patterns have actually been mis-diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder.

They say that no two kids are exactly alike and that is true when it comes to children's need for sleep too. Our kids have always been good nappers but I know some toddlers who never take naps during the day. Whether or not your child takes a nap is not as important as how much sleep they get in each 24-hour cycle.

Guidelines for Sleep

Recognizing that each child's sleep needs may differ, the American Academy of Pediatrics developed some basic guidelines for sleep amounts based upon your child's age.

Newborns should be sleeping about 16 hours a day.

9 Months-3 Years Old
From 9 months to 3 years, children should be sleeping about 13 hours each day. Remember, this is a total sleep time for a 24 hour period.

3-5 Years Old
3 to 5-year-olds should be getting about 12 hours of sleep.

5 Years Old and Up
After age 5, kids need between 10 and 11 hours of sleep each night.

Keep in mind that sleep deprivation accumulates, so an hour less each night is almost like losing a full nights sleep after a week. Experts agree that getting enough sleep is as important as a wholesome diet and exercise to maintaining good health.

Based on these guidelines, I am pretty sure that my kids are getting the rest they need. Now if I could only find time for a little more shuteye myself. Ah well. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at parenting.about.com.
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